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Chicago claims new Byrne JAG conditions are unconstitutional

By Wadi Reformado | Aug 22, 2017

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – The city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against over the new conditions of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, or Bryne JAG.

The city of Chicago filed a complaint on Aug. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III seeking injunctive and declaratory relief.

According to the complaint, the grant provides "crucial support" for law enforcement and that new conditions have been implemented. The suit states that two of these new conditions would require the plaintiff "to detain its own residents and others at federal immigration officials’ request, in order to give the federal government a 48-hour notice window prior to an arrestee’s release," and "to give federal immigration officials unlimited access to local police stations and law enforcement facilities in order to interrogate any suspected non-citizen held there, effectively federalizing all of the city’s detention facilities."

"These new conditions - which would give federal officials the power to enter city facilities and interrogate arrestees at will and would force the city to detain individuals longer than justified by probable cause, solely to permit federal officials to investigate their immigration status - are unauthorized and unconstitutional.  These new conditions also fly in the face of longstanding city policy that promotes cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities, ensures access to essential city services for all residents, and makes all Chicagoans safer," the city states in its complaint.

The plaintiff seeks declaration that all three immigration-related conditions for the Fiscal Year 2017 are unlawful, enjoin the Department of Justice from enforcing the notice and any other relief as the court deems just. It is represented by Edward N. Siksel, corporation counsel of the city of Chicago, and others.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois case number 1:17-cv-05720

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisCity of Chicago